Paraquat in India: too big a risk for farmers and workers
Press Release by PAN India, IUF, PAN Asia and the Pacific, Berne Declaration
Geneva, Penang, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad, Zürich | April 23, 2015
A new report published today Conditions of Paraquat use in India shows that the herbicide paraquat is widely used under high–risk conditions in India. The report finds that rules and recommendations for paraquat use are often ignored, that users don’t have the required information, nor do they have the means to protect themselves from exposure. All of this violates the International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management.
The victims are farmers and workers who are suffering from numerous adverse health effects caused by paraquat. The report’s publishers are therefore calling for paraquat to be included on a list (under the Rotterdam Convention) which allows governments much more control over its importation. Such a listing, say the publishers, would support developing countries to make an informed decision on allowing or not the importation of paraquat.
“Conditions of Paraquat Use in India” published by the IUF, Pesticide Action Network (PAN)Asia and the Pacific, PAN India and the Berne Declaration, shows the shocking reality about the use of paraquat in India. This highly hazardous herbicide is already banned in many countries around the world, including African and Asian countries, the European Union, and Switzerland, the home country of Syngenta, the main producer of paraquat. Nevertheless, it is still one of the world’s most widely used herbicides, especially in developing countries, where its use leads to the poisoning of countless workers and farmers.
The data, collected across six states in India, revealed that:
• paraquat is sold in plastic carrying bags
• even when it is sold in proper containers, many users can’t read the labels
• contrary to recommended use instructions, users mix it with other ingredients
• users apply it with leaking knapsack sprayers and use it on crops that the herbicide is not approved for
• personal protective equipment is nearly non-existent
These practices increase exposure and the risk to human health. As a result, farmers and workers suffer from headaches, vomiting, burning sensations, breathing difficulty, muscle pain and/or abdominal discomfort. Chronic exposure can lead to lung, brain or skin damage.
Paraquat is being used on about 25 crops (in the study area) while the Central Insecticide Board & Registration Committee (CIBRC) of India has approved its use on only nine crops. Furthermore, manufacturers of paraquat (including the main manufacturer Syngenta) have recommended its use on crops not approved by the CIBRC; this is in violation of the Indian Insecticides Act. The study also shows that the use of paraquat in India violates the International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management; and under the Code manufacturers, distributors and relevant authorities have a duty to change this untenable situation.
From May 12-14, the delegates of the 154 parties to the Rotterdam Convention will meet in Geneva to vote on a proposal to list the most common paraquat formulation in Annex III of the Convention. The result of this study underlines the urgent need for such a listing, which will first of all facilitate information exchange about its characteristics, and help countries to make an informed decision about its importation. We call on all parties to support the listing, to give countries the possibility to act in a responsible manner, and to protect human health.
For more information:
C. Jayakumar, PAN India: Tel: +91 944 7016587; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Narasimha Reddy Tel: +919010205742; Email: email@example.com
Sue Longley, IUF: Tel: +41 22 793 2233; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarojeni Rengam, PAN AP: Tel:+604 657 0271; Email: email@example.com
François Meienberg, Berne Declaration: Tel: +41 44 277 70 04; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pesticide Poisoned victim’s group in Yavatmal launched website and released education materials August 9, 2021
- PAN India Submitted Memorandum to the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Demands Critical Amendments to the Pesticide Management Bill 2020 August 6, 2021
- International Webinar on Pesticides Poisonings in India demands Syngenta to acknowledge liability of its product Polo June 25, 2021
- Pesticides poisonings in India: Implications for business accountability and regulatory reform June 16, 2021
- Third Annual General Meeting of MAPPP demands compensation and rehabilitation package for victims of pesticide poisoning February 1, 2021
Agroecology AnupamVarma Commitee Report Banned Pesticides BAN Pesticides BRS COPs 2017 Climate Change Corporate Accountability Corporate Libility Delhi gas leack Draft Banning of Pesticides Order 2016 Fact Finding Mission Food Sovereignty Glyphosate Glyphosate ban Herbicide HHP HHPs Highly Hazardous Pesticides India Indian Tea India Pesticide Ban India Pesticide Risk Inhalational Poisonings Maharashtra Association of Pesticide Poisonned Persons MAPPP No pesticide Use Day Paraquat Paraquat Retailing India Paraquat Use is India Pesticide Management Bill-2017 Pesticide Management Bill 2020 Pesticide Menace in Yavatma Pesticide Poisoning in Yavatmal Pesticide Regulation Pesticide Regulation India Phasing out HHPs Plantation Pesticide PMB-2017 PMB2020 Roundup Tea Plantations UN HRC Special Rapporteur on the right to food World Soil Day Yavatmal Declaration Yavatmal poisoning